Statement by Hon. Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet Minister for Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal
16th ACD Ministerial Meeting
Doha, Qatar, 1st May 2019
My Fellow Ministers of ACD Member States
Secretary General of ACD
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Morning, Namaste!
It is my immense pleasure to share some thoughts at this sixteenth meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) being held in the beautiful city of Doha. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal is with a high-level outbound visit, I have the honour to represent my country in this important meeting. On behalf of the Government of Nepal and my delegation, I would like to express sincere thanks and deep appreciation to the Government of the State of Qatar for Chairing the ACD, hosting this meeting as well as extending warm hospitality to my delegation.
As International Labour Day falls today, please allow me to extend my best wishes to all workers around the globe on this Day. Workers are the soul of economic advancement.
I would also like to join my fellow delegates to express my deepest condolences to the people and the Government of Sri Lanka for their loss resulting from the horrific terrorist attacks two weeks ago in Colombo. Terrorism is a heinous crime. Nepal condemns it in all forms and manifestations.
I am pleased to remember that ACD has completed 17 successful years in fostering friendship, dialogues and partnership among us. In this regard, the theme ‘Partners in Progress’ is relevant for all member countries. I believe, we all are here to further strengthen our modalities to achieve the goal of ACD.
As an active member of several regional organizations, Nepal believes that regional cooperation mechanisms are important in harmonizing common understanding and forging collaboration among the member countries – All we want is equitable development, prosperous countries and happy people. This is where the rationale of our partnership is rooted.
I am delighted to inform this eminent gathering that Nepal has a stable government with over two-thirds majority in the parliament. The Government of Nepal is now committed to deliver the national vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. Both prosperity and happiness require that the economy is grown, development is sustainable, benefits are equitably distributed, social justice are ensured, all forms of discrimination among people are eliminated and overall people live in harmony with nature. We believe that the partnership is an important means to achieve the national goals as well as international commitments like Sustainable Development Goals. We have recently organized ‘investment summit’ where many partners have shown their interests to invest in Nepal’s development agenda. Nepal has the lucrative areas for investors in hydropower, tourism, agriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants, transport infrastructure, and ICT. Nepal has created the conducive environment through the reform of institutions, new and revised laws and introduction of ‘one door service for foreign investor’. Nepal is going to celebrate ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ to welcome a great number of tourists by offering nature-based quality services.
We are aware climate change is one of the great concerns for the planet. Despite minimal contribution to green gas emission, Nepal has been bearing the huge brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change, such as melting of the Himalayan snow, draughts and floods. This demands the collective efforts to reduce the Green House Gas (GHG) emission at several scales and support Least Developed Countries and Small Island Nations to adapt to the impact of climate change. Importantly, various forms of disasters like earthquake, tsunami, volcano, flood, and drought have been causing tremendous loss of lives and property in our region, for which we need fruitful dialogue and effective cooperation. Nepal is happy to have a meaningful dialogue with ACD member countries which will help in developing the right strategies and costed plan to deliver required interventions.
I believe that the transport connectivity is an important area of our cooperation which will contribute in expanding the rapid and equitable economic growth among ACD countries. Sound transport connectivity in air, land, sea, including waterways, along with smooth transit facility is the backbone of faster, cheaper and smoother movement of people and goods.
I am proud to say that, our region is blessed with huge potentials of tourism, given its rich history, civilization, culture, art, and immense natural beauty. Intra-regional tourism, not only contributes to further strengthening the bonds among our peoples but also gives a boost to the sustainable economic growth and peace.
Our leaders have envisioned ‘Coordination, Collaboration, Co-existence’ that will move entire Asia towards the economic growth, and sustainable development. I believe that this vision can only be achieved if we all ACD members are committed to nurturing the true partnership and translating them into the practical actions. Nepal appreciates the initiative taken by Kuwait for the creation of ACD Development Fund which can be one of the milestones for our development efforts.
Last but not least, Nepal believes that through ACD we can bring the historic positive changes in the region. ‘Let’s walk the talk’ together, so we can bring the tangible results!
I wish a grand success of this important meeting.